The modern island has become an anchor for the kitchen living space. The reason is that open plan living requires that there be elements within various spaces that ensures the individual areas still have a standalone feel, while not detracting from the overall open layout needing to be achieved. Islands offer this to the kitchen space as they can incorporate various functional zones from cooking to prep as well as various types of seating options.
The island to us therefore serves three major purposes within the space; it offers a relational element in that it allows others to be involved informally in the process of preparation and cooking. Secondly, it offers a needed functional element as explained above. Finally, it can be a feature within any space and therefore can really make a kitchen aesthetically appealing.